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Google antsy as California slow on self-driving car rules

first_imgMOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. | Hustling to bring cars that drive themselves to a road near you, Google finds itself somewhere that has frustrated many before: Waiting on the Department of Motor Vehicles.The tech titan wants the freedom to give the public access to self-driving prototypes it has been testing on public roads since the summer. Before granting that permission, California regulators want Google to prove these cars of the future already drive as safely as people.The Department of Motor Vehicles was supposed to write precedent-setting rules of the road by last Jan. 1. Nearly a year later, it is still struggling. After all, the agency is geared to administering driving tests and registering cars, not settling complicated questions the technology raises. This Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, photo provided by Virginia Tech shows Greg Brown, technology development program administration specialist, sitting behind the wheel of a self-driving car during a test ride on a local street in Blacksburg, Va. The vehicle’s alert system is handing over control to Brown as it disengages from self-driving mode. (Justin Fine/Virginia Tech via AP) This Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, photo provided by Virginia Tech shows Virginia Tech Center for Technology Development Program Administration Specialist Greg Brown sits behind the wheel of a driverless car during a test ride showing the alert system handing over automation to the driver while driving on a local Blacksburg, Va. street. (Justin Fine/Virginia Tech via AP) This Friday, Nov. 13, 2015, photo provided by Virginia Tech shows the Automated Vehicle Info Center display panel of a self-driving car during a test ride showing the alert system handing over control to the driver on a local street in Blacksburg, Va. (Justin Fine/Virginia Tech via AP) If the cars’ advanced sensors and computing power can drive better than humans, do they need a steering wheel and pedals? Would a person even need to be inside? Google says no on both.Regulators don’t want to be blamed for unnecessarily stalling the arrival of robo-chauffeurs that can see farther, react faster and don’t text, speed or fall asleep. They’ve implored Google and traditional automakers also developing the technology to share safety data, but companies in competition don’t willingly reveal trade secrets.Delay is not what Google had in mind when it pushed the 2012 legislation that made California one of the few states officially to authorize self-driving cars. Google’s hope was to trade the independence to innovate without government oversight for regulatory certainty.Three years later, both a company that abhors bureaucracy and a DMV struggling to write rules beyond its expertise are exasperated.While self-driving cars are not close to being widely available, Google hinted in 2014 it wanted to get self-driving cars into public hands as early as 2016, probably starting with employees outside its small corps of self-driving car experts.More recently, the project’s leader, Chris Urmson, has said he doesn’t want his eldest son to need a driver’s license when he turns 16 in 3-1/2 years.The bubble-shaped, two-seater prototype can’t go anywhere, any time. It is limited to places Google has surveyed in far greater detail than its online maps. It can’t handle fog or snow. Top speed: 25 mph.Google’s 73 cars are among the 98 test vehicles that California’s DMV has given 10 companies permission to test publicly.Though trained test drivers must sit behind the wheel, Google wants to remove the wheel and pedals for the general public. Its argument: It would be safer to take all control away than expect a person to snap safely to attention in an emergency.As a famously data-driven company, Google proposes a composite sketch of evidence would show its cars are safe.Each day, Google runs more than 3 million miles of computerized driving simulations. Engineers devise challenging real-world situations, then see how the cars respond. A “functional safety analysis” assesses what hardware or software might fail and how to minimize those risks.Public road testing is the last piece. Google reports its cars have been involved in 17 collisions over 2.2 million miles of testing, nearly 1.3 million miles in self-driving mode. While that accident rate appears to be higher than for human drivers (though Google disputes that), accident summaries Google has published say its cars did not cause any accident.Google has pressed California’s DMV to publish regulations far harder than any other company.“Our team is concerned about the delay,” according to an invitation for a conference call last December that Google sent California officials, who released it under a public records act request.Both before and after, Google representatives consistently checked with officials at the DMV and California State Transportation Agency about the status of rules. State officials have trooped from Sacramento to Silicon Valley for test rides, while Google’s technical experts and lobbyists have headed to the capital for briefings or talks about regulation writing.“The worst thing would be for California, sort of the birth state of this technology, to accidentally sort of shut things down,” Sarah Hunter, public policy director at the experimental lab Google spun off to focus on ambitious projects such as self-driving cars and Internet-beaming balloons, said at a public presentation in September.Shortly before, she jokingly jabbed a co-panelist who is the top DMV self-driving car official. Asked when self-driving technology would be “mainstream,” Hunter responded: “Whenever the DMV pass their operational regulations.”There’s frustration to go around.At the DMV, officials have pleaded for input from Google and traditional automakers to help set a clear, objective safety standard. At a meeting in May in Washington, traditional automakers joined Google in voicing concern that regulation — particularly in California — could stifle innovation.There are no federal regulations on self-driving cars.Still, California officials are “taking cues” from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, said the state’s secretary of transportation, Brian Kelly. NHTSA’s official position holds that any state which authorizes self-driving cars should require a licensed driver who can take control.“My sense of it is we’re getting a go-slow message from the federal government,” Kelly said. He said that made sense for safety, but as a state famous for innovation, “we want to work through some of those sticky issues.” He hopes the DMV will publish draft rules for public input by year’s end.In interviews, NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind and his boss, U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx, said the federal government’s message to California was “go safe.” Intriguing as the technology’s life-saving potential may be, California should not hastily write new regulations, despite “pressure” to do so, Rosekind wrote DMV Director Jean Shiomoto in April.Over the summer, Google expanded its road testing from Silicon Valley to Texas, where state law would not prohibit cars without pedals and a wheel. Some within California’s DMV wondered whether Google’s move was motivated by frustration with its home state.Contact Justin Pritchard at https://twitter.com/lalanewsman.last_img read more

One wild plot

first_imgMULTI-COLOURED ballerinas saving the world? It’s not as crazy as it seems when Earth Boy and the Mutant Ballerinas come…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

Loving family was his focus

first_imgRussell William Gardiner Born: 7 November 1925 Died: 25 June 2017 A dairy farmer, a scout leader, a church elder,…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

Central Arkansas, Stephen F. Austin Tied Atop Conference Standings

first_imgNew Orleans: The Privateers are 0-17 overall and 0-6 in league play following losses to Lamar and Sam Houston State last week … New Orleans is set to play Houston Baptist and Texas A&M-Corpus Christ this weekend … Yasmin Taylor returned to the court after missing eight games with a knee injury, and fell just shy of a double-double twice … Taylor had eight points and nine rebounds against Lamar followed by a career-high 12 points and nine rebounds against Sam Houston State … Freshman guard Octavia Wilson provided the third performance of 20-plus points by a Privateer this season by scoring 20 points, including 4-of-8 from 3-point range, against Sam Houston State … Wilson has now put up double-digits in five straight games … The Privateers return to the site of their last road win Thursday when they face Houston Baptist … Since beating the Huskies 65-58 on Feb. 9, 2013, New Orleans has lost 13 straight road games. Northwestern State: The Lady Demons are 10-7 overall and 3-2 in league play following its win against Stephen F. Austin in its lone game last week… The Lady Demons will travel to Central Arkansas then Oral Roberts this week … Northwestern State split last season’s contest with both UCA and ORU with the home teams winning each time …  The Lady Demons lead the all-time series with ORU, 3-1, and are tied with Central Arkansas, 8-8 … Northwestern State is 3-2 in conference for the first time since 2010 (4-1)… Senior Trudy Armstead is looking to become just the seventh member of the 1,000 points/700 rebound club… She has already jumped the 1,000 points (1,249 points- places her 18th all-time in scoring). She is just 34 boards away from 700… of Northwestern’s top five scorers, one is a senior, one is a junior, two are sophomores, and one is a freshman. Lamar: The Lady Cardinals are 9-8 overall and 4-2 in league play after having its four-game conference winning streak snapped Saturday against Southeastern Louisiana … Lamar will travel to Abilene Christian Thursday followed by a trip to San Antonio Saturday to face UIW … Lamar coach Robin Harmony will coach her 200th career game Saturday against UIW … This weekend’s game at Abilene Christian and UIW will be Lamar’s first-ever meeting with both teams … With 287 career assists, Gia Ayers is 13 behind Barbara Hickey for fourth on Lamar’s all-time list. Houston Baptist: The Huskies are 6-11 overall and 2-4 in league play after coming off a split week with a win against Nicholls before falling to McNeese State … HBU hosts New Orleans and Southeastern Louisiana this week … HB’s win at Nicholls was its first conference road win since 2007 when the Huskies were a member of the Red River Athletic Conference … The Huskies split a home and home against the Privateers last season, with the road team winning each game, while the meeting between the Huskies and Lady Lions will be the first-ever on the hardwood. UIW: The Cardinals are 8-8 overall and 2-2 in league play after dropping its conference home opener against Central Arkansas before defeating defending conference champion Oral Roberts Saturday … UIW remains at home this week when Sam Houston State and Lamar come to town … Senior Katie Novak scored a season-high 18 points off the bench in UIW win over ORU … Novak drained four 3-pointers and went 6-for-6 from the foul line against the Golden Eagles after missing 10 games earlier this season due to injury … Senior Rose Whitehead is making a run at becoming the second Cardinal this year to reach 1,000 career points.  She has 849 points with 11 games remaining in the season … Rose needs to average 13.7 points per game over the remainder of the schedule to reach the milestone … Freshman Alyssa Ward only had seven steals through the first nine games of the season, but has racked up 19 in the past seven games including seven this week and she now leads the team with 26 thefts. Team Capsules…Abilene Christian: The Wildcats are 11-7 overall and 2-1 in league play entering this week’s games against Lamar and Sam Houston State … The Wildcats will host both schools at Moody Coliseum, where they are 7-1 this season after dropping their last contest against Central Arkansas … The loss to UCA snapped ACU’s 15-game home winning streak with its last loss coming against Midwestern State on Jan. 5, 2013 … ACU recorded its best free throw percentage of the season against the Sugar Bears in making 23 of 27 attempts (.852) … UCA went 0-for-7 from 3-point range versus the Wildcats, lowering ACU’s opponent 3-point field goal percentage to a league-best .246 … Suzzy Dimba pulled down a team season and a career-high 15 rebounds against ORU. Women’s Basketball Weekly Release (PDF)News & NotesCentral Arkansas, Stephen F. Austin Hold Slim Conference Lead: After three weeks of league play, Central Arkansas and Stephen F. Austin hold a half-game lead over McNeese State and Lamar. The Sugar Bears and Ladyjacks are 4-1 in league play while both the Cowgirls and Lady Cardinals sit at 4-2. Both UCA and McNeese are coming off two consecutive wins while SFA and Lamar dropped its last contest. The Cowgirls play early this week against Nicholls Tuesday at 5:30 while SFA plays Oral Roberts Thursday at 5 p.m. on ESPN3, Lamar travels to Abilene Christian Thursday at 5:30 p.m. and UCA hosts Northwestern State Thursday at 5:30 p.m.Oral Roberts Hosts Stephen F. Austin for ESPN3 Contest: The Southland Conference women’s basketball broadcast package continues this week defending conference champion Oral Roberts hosts current league-leader Stephen F. Austin Thursday at 5 p.m. Both teams are looking to get back on the winning track as ORU has dropped its last two games to Abilene Christian and UIW while Stephen F. Austin lost its first league game last week against Northwestern State. Lyn Rollins will be on the call Thursday alongside Jim Haller as color commentator. Sam Houston State’s Angela Beadle Named Player of the Week: Beadle helped Sam Houston State to wins over Southeastern Louisiana and New Orleans to give the Bearkats three consecutive league wins. The junior from Austin, Texas (Crocket H.S.), led the team in scoring and rebounding on the week with a 34-point, 10-rebound performance against the Lady Lions followed by 15 points and eight rebounds against the Privateers. In the win against Southeastern Louisiana, Beadle helped orchestrate a 17-point second half comeback to force overtime. Her 34 points were four points shy of tying a Bearkats single-game record set by Sirene Autman in 1990.Bearkats Rely on Late 3-Pointer for Second Consecutive Game: Only five days after appearing at the No. 4 spot on SportsCenter Top 10 for a game-winning 3-pointer against Nicholls, Sam Houston State senior guard Jasmine Johnson hit another late 3-pointer against Southeastern Louisiana to help the Bearkats slip past the Lady Lions. With Sam Houston trailing in the final seconds, Johnson hit a 3-pointer with four seconds left in regulation to force overtime. Johnson then proceeded to make the game-winning free throw with 0.6 seconds left in extra time to give the Bearkats the 86-85 win.Colonels’ White Leads League in Scoring: Nicholls sophomore guard Emani White leads the conference with 18.6 points per game. White, who averages 16.8 points per game in league play, is just ahead of fellow sophomore Allison Baggett from McNeese State, who sits at 18.2 points per game.Lady Lions’ Pool One of Nation’s Most Consistent Shooters: Southeastern Louisiana sophomore forward Nanna Pool sits atop the conference in field goal percentage at 62.2 percent. Pool, who is 89-for-143 shooting in 17 games, also ranks among one of the country’s elite, ranking sixth in the NCAA. Pool averages 12.2 points per game and is second on the Lady Lions’ team in scoring.Bearkats’ Beadle Crashes the Boards: Sam Houston State’s Angela Beadle pulls down 9.8 rebounds per game to lead the league. The junior post player is also one of three conference players to average 10 or more rebounds in league games with 10.2. Southeastern Louisiana’s Nanna Pool leads the league with 11.2 rebounds per conference game followed by Central Arkansas’ Courtney Duever with 10.4. Beadle ranks 48th in the NCAA with her 9.8 rebounds per game.Defense Wins Games: Central Arkansas is proving that defense wins games as the Sugars Bears have the stingiest defenses in the conference and sit atop the standings at 4-1. The Sugar Bears only allow 58.1 per game, which ranks 25th in the nation. In league play, UCA is third in the conference with 56.0 points per game behind Abilene Christian (55.7 points per game) and Stephen F. Austin (55.8 points per game). ACU is 2-1 in league play while SFA is tied with UCA at the top of the standings at 4-1. McNeese State: The Cowgirls are 11-6 overall and 4-2 in league play after coming off a weekend home sweep of Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Lamar… McNeese continues its five-game home stand when it hosts Nicholls Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. …  Allison Baggett led the Cowgirls in scoring in both McNeese games last week as the Cowgirls improve to 8-1 at home on the season.  The Cowgirls game against the Colonels will be the first of three straight played at the Lake Charles Civic Center. Nicholls: The Colonels are 8-9 overall and 3-3 in league play following home split against Houston Baptist and Texas A&M-Corpus Christi last week … Nicholls bounced back from its first home loss with a 67-60 victory against the Islanders Saturday… Sophomore Emani White took control in the final minute to end Nicholls’ three-game losing streak with a 3-pointer with 38 seconds remaining gave Nicholls a three-point lead … White then put the game away with a steal and a layup on the ensuing possession … KK Babin played all 40 minutes for the 12th time this season in the game against the Islanders … Leading the Colonels and the Southland in scoring is White, who is averaging 18.6 points on the year and 16.8 points in conference play, which ranks third … McNeese has a significant lead in the all-time series, 53-14, despite the Colonels taking two of the three matchups last season. Nicholls won at McNeese, 78-61, and at home, 65-59, before falling in the second round of the Southland Tournament to the Cowgirls, 86-70. Texas A&M-Corpus Christi: The Islanders are 8-9 overall and 1-5 in league play after dropping road contests to McNeese State and Nicholls … The Islanders host Southeastern Louisiana Thursday, looking to snap a four-game losing streak and get back to .500 … Following their game with the Lady Lions, the Islanders will match up with Southland newcomer New Orleans for the first meeting between the two schools… Brittany Mbamalu has moved into sixth place for 3-pointers made in a season for an Islander with 12 this past week to give her a total of 51 this season … The freshman is now just five 3-pointers away from moving into the top 10 for 3-point field goals made in a career as an Islander… Outside of the McNeese State loss, the Islanders have lost their four conference games by an average of just six points. Sam Houston State: The Bearkats are 8-9 overall and 3-3 in league play following a three-game conference win streak with victories over Nicholls, Southeastern Louisiana and New Orleans … Sam Houston has followed up its seven-game losing streak with its current winning streak … Senior guard Jasmine Johnson hit a three-pointer at the buzzer for the winning points in a 51-50 victory over Nicholls followed by hitting a 3-pointer with four seconds remaining to force overtime at Southeastern Louisiana just five days later … Angela Beadle scored a career-high 34 points in the 86-85 win against Southeastern … The performance was four points short of the all-time Sam Houston women’s single game record of 38 points by Sirena Autman versus Grambling in 1990 … Beadle has scored in double figures in 15 of Sam Houston’s 17 games this season … Beadle has produced eight games with double figure points and rebounds, and has been the leading scorer for the Bearkats in 10 contests this season. Southeastern Louisiana: The Lady Lions are 4-13 overall and 3-2 in league play entering this week’s matchups against Texas A&M-Corpus Christi and Houston Baptist … The Lady Lions had a 17-point lead with seven minutes left in regulation against Sam Houston, but could not sustain it and suffered its first home loss of 2013-14 … Junior guard Elizabeth Styles led the Lady Lions with a career-high 23 points and was one of four Southeastern players in double figures against the Bearkats … Styles, who dished out a game-high seven assists, moved past Southeastern Hall of Famer Pam Cook for 10th place on the school’s career assist list, running her career total to 233 … Last week’s win against Lamar snapped the Lady Lions’ four-game losing streak against the Lady Cardinals … Aja Gibson led the Lady Lions with 16 points against Lamar, moving past Martha Lee for 14th on the school’s career scoring list with 1,063 career points. Oral Roberts: The Golden Eagles are 3-12 overall and 2-3 in league play after dropping contests to Abilene Christian and UIW last week … ORU has now lost two straight conference games for the first time since 2008-09 … Christian Key led ORU in scoring last week with 22 points against Abilene Christian and 20 against UIW … Alexus Wilson was the only other ORU player in double figures with 14 points against UIW … Free throw discrepancy was a big issue in the loss to UIW, as ORU was whistled for 30 fouls and shot just 13 free throws … UIW was called for 15 fouls and went to the line 33 times.  Stephen F. Austin: The Ladyjacks are 10-7 overall and 4-1 in league play after seeing it’s seven-game winning streak and perfect conference record come to an end last week in a loss at Northwestern State … Junior Porsha Roberts surpassed 1,000 career points against Northwestern State … Roberts now has 1,009 career points scored at SFA … The Ladyjacks lead the Southland in blocks per game with 4.6 … The team is led by Porsha Roberts in blocks as she is averaging 2.18 and ranks 39th in the nation … Roberts is just off the pace to break the school record for career blocks this season … The Ladyjacks are hitting from the charity stripe at a 74.3 clip, which ranks 41st in the nation. Central Arkansas: The Sugar Bears are 10-6 overall and 4-1 in league play entering this week’s games against Northwestern State and Stephen F. Austin … UCA is coming off two wins against UIW and Abilene Christian … The Sugar Bears have won five of their last six, matching their best stretch of the season … UCA began the season 5-1 before dropping four straight from Nov. 30-Dec. 21 … UCA enters the week tied atop the league standings with SFA at 4-1. After facing Northwestern State Thursday, the Sugar Bears will host the Ladyjacks on Saturday … UCA trails 3-9 in the series against SFA, losing the last two meetings last season after winning 57-54 in Conway on Jan. 10, 2013 … In conference games, Courtney Duever ranks fourth in scoring (16.6), second in rebounding (10.4) and tops the league in blocked shots (2.6).last_img read more

Education sector CoI

first_imgTeachers’ salaries should be based primarily on performance, qualifications and experience. This was among the recommendations made by teachers on remuneration packages, in a report to the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the education sector.In the report, teachers of The Bishops’ High School stated that remuneration was a key element of any education policy, and should express a vision of the teacher as a professional with a decent salary and good employment conditions.“The teacher remuneration system not only determines how much teachers earn, but it also has an effect on the attractiveness of the profession, particularly for males, and on the organisation of schools, and on the educational outcomes of students. Indeed, the precise impact of the education system will depend on a sizeable number of factors, some of which are within the control of the Ministry of Education and the central government. Attracting the best graduates into the profession, and retaining a quality and motivated cadre of teachers will likely remain a challenge. Status, working conditions and opportunity for professional development all contribute to this objective. But remuneration remains one of the most powerful success factors in education,” the report stated.According to the teachers, studies have suggested that teachers and teacher expertise are the most important factors related to student learning and achievements. “Unfortunately, however, the importance of teachers to student achievement has not always translated to better teacher compensation,” the report noted.The teachers went on to point out that traditionally, teacher compensation has been based exclusively on individual development criteria such as length of service and level of education attained. “Initially, these criteria were aimed at preventing pay inequity between men and women prevalent until the 1940s. They also helped to protect teachers against subjective administrators, and to give incentives to younger teachers to stay in the system,” the teachers affirmed.The report elucidated that in Guyana, teachers are paid according to a version of the single-salary, or steps and lanes, schedule. It was indicated that this does not imply that all teachers earn the same salary. “Salaries vary, and they vary according to the characteristics of individual teachers. For example, teachers with more education units have larger salaries and teachers with administrative designations also earn more,” the teachers related.It was explained that the net income of Temporary Qualified Mistresses and Masters is ,659 while Untrained Graduate teachers receive ,456.  Meanwhile, Untrained Graduates, with a master’s degree are paid ,164, while Graduate Senior Mistresses and Masters receive 8,512.The teachers continued to point out that a critical omission from the single-pay schedule used in Guyana is pay for seniority. They explained that this system works by segmenting and paying teachers based on the number of years served. “An obvious advantage of such a system is that it rewards staff for years of experience and incentivises young teachers to remain in the profession. As an example, a pay by seniority scheme may have three grades of seniority – less than five years, five to ten years and more than ten years.  There is a strong argument for making an element of salary dependent on length of service and on teacher effort. Pay by seniority rewards teachers for their commitment of time to the system and reflects the relative differences in experience among teachers, while performance-related pay permits reward based on something other than credentials or years of experience, both of which have been shown to be poor indicators of teacher effectiveness ,” the report stated.Given this issue, the teachers have recommended that a group-based performance incentive scheme be used by the Ministry. “For a subject department with five or more students on CXC’s merit list, CSEC and CAPE, a group package of, say, ,000 to those teachers in that department with direct responsibility for the results. For example, if a business department secures two merit students in Principles of Accounts (CSEC), two in Principles of Business, and one in Economics, then this department qualifies for the incentive. Additionally, a monetary reward can be also offered to each department with five or more students on Guyana’s merit list (top 10 students), CSEC and CAPE.  For a school with the highest overall pass rates at CSEC and CAPE respectively, a monetary reward in the range of 0,000 can be offered. To make this system [a] fair one, different categories can be established [to] reflect the varying challenges faced by different schools,” the teachers explained.They have also urged that non-financial incentives be provided such as coverage of tuition fees in return for a teaching bond; an increase in uniform allowance by a factor of three, to ,000, annually; loan guarantee scheme for the purchase of a vehicle by senior teachers; tax exemptions and/or discounts:  as well as discounts and/or exemptions for the purchase of state-provided goods and services.last_img read more

S. Whittier district selects new leader

first_imgSOUTH WHITTIER – Although officials must still make a visit up north, South Whittier School District trustees have selected the head of a public school district in Bakersfield as the local district’s new superintendent. Erich Kwek, 54, superintendent of the Standard School District in Bakersfield, is the top finalist for the local post. If approved, Kwek would succeed Superintendent Richard L. Graves, who is set to retire later this month after 22 years. Two board members – possibly more – will travel to Bakersfield on Sunday. They will meet with Kwek’s colleagues at the 3,000-student Standard School District, said school board President Jan Baird. “He really seems like a great guy. He’s got a lot of ambition and he’s the type that can get things done,” she said. Kwek, who has spent the past 25 years at the Bakersfield district, said he already was spending many of his weekends in the Los Angeles and Orange county areas after his children relocated there. As such, he was “looking for a good district to come down south and be a superintendent, and South Whittier had all those qualities,” he said. “South Whittier has a tradition of being a stable school district, and the superintendent has been there for a long time. There is a lot of community support, great staff, and I feel my professional experience is a good match for South Whittier,” Kwek added. At the Standard School District, Kwek had also served as an assistant superintendent, and a middle and elementary school principal. He is also a part-time professor at Point Loma Nazarene University. The school board’s selection of Kwek “was a unanimous, quick and easy decision,” Baird said. “I just feel he’s a good fit,” she added. If ultimately hired, Kwek said his priorities will include lifting three of South Whittier’s schools out of “program improvement” status, a label the state applies to schools that fail to meet testing targets. He also will need to find replacements for Associate Superintendent Lilia Dickson and Senior Fiscal Services Director David Morton, both of whom also are retiring this month. “It’s an exciting new challenge,” said Kwek. tracy.garcia@sgvn.com (562) 698-0955 Ext. 3051last_img read more

Former Chelsea star Lampard joins New York City FC

1 Frank Lampard has signed for New York City FC, the Major League Soccer franchise have announced.The 36-year-old left Chelsea at the end of last season after 13 seasons and a club record 211 goals.The midfielder becomes New York City FC’s fourth player and second major summer signing following the arrival of David Villa from Atletico Madrid.“I am really excited about joining New York City FC and helping to play a real part in building something special in one of the sporting capitals of the world,” said Lampard.“The passion of the nation’s fans at the World Cup was second to none and I am looking forward to meeting New Yorkers and tapping into their love of the game. It is a privilege to be able to help make history here in New York City – I just can’t wait to get started and be part of it.” Frank Lampard read more

Is this the team that can win the Premier League title for Arsenal by 2017?

first_imgA number of the players like Alexis Sanchez and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain are capable of playing in a number of different positions, giving the club strength in depth.Khedira’s contract expires at the end of the season, but playmaker Isco, winger Reus and classy centre-back Hummels will not come cheap.Do you agree this is the team to win Wenger a fourth Premier League title? If not, then let us know who you would like the club to target in the comments below. Will Arsenal win another title under Arsene Wenger? He thinks so Arsenal are currently 13 points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea, but manager Arsene Wenger believes he can lead the club to title glory again before his contract expires in three years time.It has been more than 10 years since the club were last champions, but the Emirates boss thinks his players are on the verge of something special.However, they’ll need some new additions in defence, midfield and attack.Borussia Dortmund pair Mats Hummels and Marco Reus have been linked as have Real Madrid duo Isco and Sami Khedira.Is the team that can bring the Premier League back to Arsenal? 1 1last_img read more

High school grads set to spread their wings

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORE11 theater productions to see in Southern California this week, Dec. 27-Jan. 2And in those graduations, many parents will see a child achieve what they couldn’t – a diploma. For many parents and students alike, that piece of paper symbolized a milestone. “Very happy. Today is a special day for me,” said Alis Shamouni, of her son Givargiz Sourani of Grant High School, the first of her children to graduate in a school in the United States. But although he may be finished with high school, her job isn’t over yet, she said. He still has to finish college and get a degree in computers, and then “when I see that diploma, then I will know how good a job I have done.” As he prepared to walk onto Grant High School’s graduation field Thursday, Cameron Harrison’s mother had one simple word: “Hallelujah!” Sakantula Harrison exclaimed. “He’s my last one. Finally.” “Finally,” repeated many parents at Grant High School’s graduation. Under a hot summer sun that has come to define graduation ceremonies in the San Fernando Valley for decades, hundreds of bursting-with-pride parents wielding video cameras and bouquets of flowers cheered on sons and daughters wearing green and black caps and gowns, Grant’s school colors. CANOGA PARK – High up in the stands at Canoga Park High School, Maria and Jose Chavez waited with roses, balloons and a stuffed white bear for their daughter, Heidi, to make family history. Neither Maria, 47, a housekeeper, nor Jose, 53, a truck driver, ever got more than a sixth-grade education. But on Thursday, Heidi was graduating with honors, and going on to college. “She’s the first to graduate from our family,” Jose Chavez said in Spanish. “She’s starting a new journey to meet her goals.” More than 25,700 students from 60 Los Angeles Unified School District high schools will graduate this week in ceremonies across the city, including Birmingham, Canoga Park, Cleveland, Grant, High Tech, Kennedy and Monroe High Schools in the Valley. Graduate Maria Tista, 18, said she could feel her parent’s pride. She planned to continue on to college, to become a teacher. “They feel really happy because they believed in me and they stayed with me all the way,” she said. Her friends, Jostyl Ting, 17, and Ja’carl Thomas, 18, said if they could offer one message to their parents, it would be “Thanks for believing in us.” Besides pride, Thomas said maybe his parents were a little scared too, “because we’re finally moving out into the world.” Canoga Park graduate Brittanie Brown, 17, of Sylmar, nervously awaited the ceremony with the other graduates, clad in their choice of either green or white. “It’s the beginning of my adult life, my life after high school,” she said, half in awe. “Everything’s up to me now.” Brown plans to go to California State University, Northridge, and major in biology. She wants to be an obstetrician/gynecologist, a goal she developed after seeing her niece born a year ago. But she said a lot of her success was due to the Canoga Park teachers in the school’s magnet program who listened to her and encouraged her. Former music teacher Richard Kravchak left Canoga Park High School last year to teach at Cal State Dominguez Hills. He came back to see the Class of 2006 graduate. “We’re proud of each of our graduates,” Kravchak said. “Especially when you think of how many of them don’t make it this far. A lot of them are the first in their families to graduate. Many of their parents are working several jobs, and (the students) often have to work to help support the family. I feel it’s a privilege to walk with them.” Juan Hernandez, 48, of Canoga Park, was equally proud of his daughter, Gloria, 19, who graduated from Canoga Park with honors and is the second of his children to go on to college. Older brother Juan, 24, is a mortgage broker. “It makes me feel good that she’s graduating and will have more opportunities to get a good job,” said a beaming Hernandez. Looking at the steady stream of parents filing in the stadium he added, “When I see so many kids graduating, it makes me think the parents did a good job and wanted something better for their children.” In his valedictorian speech, Grant graduate Hayk Yegoryan compared his class to birds spreading their wings. “This is it. This is our moment of flight,” he said. “I am proud to take a first step, right here, right now, under the scrutiny of all your eyes.” In other high schools, graduates also reflected on their class experiences. “We have learned to appreciate the beauty of diversity and embrace individualism in a population of almost 4,000 students,” Tanya Corpus, senior class president at Birmingham High School said in her speech. “Showing us the good and the bad of the real world, we have grown up and matured together these past four years and now we will use the knowledge and skills we have acquired to embark on our ultimate test.” Canoga Park graduate and class president Reginald Green told his fellow grads that they were all created for a purpose. “It is our time to shine in the outside world,” Green said. “Don’t ever give up on your dreams and ambitions.” lisa.sodders@dailynews.com (818) 713-3663160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. 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Businesses urge LAUSD to seek food-service bids

first_img 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! A day after the school board gave Superintendent David Brewer III 90 days to analyze the effectiveness of school cafeterias, the Valley’s largest business organization urged him Wednesday to consider competitive contracting for Los Angeles Unified’s food services. Robert Scott, chairman of the Valley Industry and Commerce Association, sent the superintendent a letter urging him to consider putting cafeteria services out to competitive bid. Scott cited findings in the report “Reforming Schools” by the Mulholland Institute, which concluded that it would be better for schools to stick to education and contract out for non-core services such as transportation maintenance, security and food service. But LAUSD officials said Senate Bill 1419, passed in 2003, prohibits school districts from contracting out food services. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESurfer attacked by shark near Channel Islands calls rescue a ‘Christmas miracle’Even if the law allowed districts to put food services out to competitive bid, it wouldn’t be the right answer for a district that’s made significant gains in food services over the past four years, said Michael Eugene, business manager for LAUSD.last_img read more